Monday, July 11, 2016



Triple Crown by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright
(Spuyten Duyvil, New York, NY, 2013)
“I had a funny feeling as I saw the house disappear, as though I had written a poem and it was very good and I had lost it and would never remember it again.” 
- Raymond Chandler, The High Window
Triple Crown is a book by Jeffrey Cyphers Wright where he writes in a crown of sonnets, fifteen sonnets each. Before you begin reading this text you must first understand that his girlfriend in this volume is Emily Bronte. As he writes in his introduction, “Emily Bronte is alternately a muse, a doppelganger, a lover, a sister and a stand-in for the reader, when I address her. Or undress her, as the case may be, as one aim of poetry is seduction.”
Mr. Wright writes in a fluid yet undetermined way. He will carry you along the path and you will be pleasantly surprised at the things you see but then you will stop suddenly and wonder why he carved out that direction. However, in the poem “Made in Ithaca,” he writes quite the opposite, “I wake bound to the railroad tracks/ Emily Bronte sitting beside me on a wasp nest/ We wait inconsolably in our vast ardor/ As time trickles through an excess of small delays.” I’m not saying that there aren’t frequent paths to follow, just that it will narrow from time to time.
I envision an actor who has forgotten to remember the lines and decides to improvise and actually gets it right some of the time, and he does impress the audience. John Strasberg wrote, “I wish we would all read a few more plays and talk less about technique.” It would be better perhaps if in this book Mr. Wright had taken more from the lines he wrote in his poem, “Made in Providence”: “Let the river steal along the rail/ On the route to the root/ Source of sorcery and mask of bone/ Take me back again into the unknown.”
Triple Crown is an ambitious undertaking. It reads like it started out as lines in a small notebook as he walked through the city, around corners, watching people. And like Raymond Chandler’s character Phillip Marlowe he came upon these clues that he put together into an idea. Has Triple Crown won the race? Pick it up and see for yourself.


Chris Mansel is a writer, filmmaker, epileptic, musician, photographer and a permanent outsider for some reason. Along with Jake Berry, he formed the band Impermanence who have released one album, Arito. He releases music under the name dilation Impromptu who have released four albums and have just released a new Cd Indentions On The North Face of Everest. His writing has been published in the Experioddi(cyber)cist, Apocryphal Text, and the Atlantic Press among others. He has made over 260 short films for other artists as well as his own work.

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